Xbox Series X/S wireless headset issues reported with Turtle Beach, SteelSeries, and more

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series X (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Various Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners report issues with wireless headsets, including those from Turtle Beach and SteelSeries.
  • Reported issues include crackling and distorted audio across the system, alongside problems with power and connectivity when using these headsets.

Microsoft launched its new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles last week, with shared foundations with Xbox One ensuring a generally smooth transition. It couples with Microsoft's promise of full backward compatibility, including the ability to bring forward past Xbox accessories like controllers, headsets, and chargers to the newest systems. But we're also seeing some Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S owners report wireless headset issues, from audio distortion to poor connectivity.

Complaints have surfaced across various forums from users with headsets that use the Xbox Wireless protocol for cable-free connectivity. The problems appear to impact some of the best Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S headsets on the market, including the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 and Stealth 700, SteelSeries Arctis 9X, and Corsair HS75 XB.

Cracking audio, with general stutters and distortion, appears to be one of the primary issues affecting headsets. These problems often remain following firmware updates to both the headset and controller, although we've been unable to recreate them as of publication. But amid discussions on Reddit and Twitter, some have found a remedy by using an older Xbox One controller with their console. It suggests this stems from the new Xbox hardware, rather than the headsets themselves.

Several also report headset connectivity issues when using the new Xbox controller bundled with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Top issues include the controller failing to register inputs with the headset connected, and headsets automatically powering on the console but leaving the controller unresponsive until the system is unplugged.

from r/steelseries
from r/TurtleBeach

It's once again worth stressing that these reported issues aren't guaranteed, and we've been unable to replicate them with Xbox Wireless-enabled headsets like the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 and Corsair HS75 XB. But it appears that many remain impacted, indicating an issue lies with the wireless connectivity shared across these headsets and controllers.

If you're experiencing these issues, make sure to let us know in the comments. We recommend visiting your manufacturer online to update with the latest available firmware while updating your Xbox controller via the on-device settings app.

Xbox Series X/S


Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.